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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

The DCC funds its waste management and minimisation facilities, services and educational programmes in a variety of ways.

Overview of the current funding methods.

User pays charges

The full cost associated with sending waste to landfill is recovered via user pays gate charges. This means that landfill users sending waste to DCC-owned disposal facilities will pay for the loss of resources based on the amount of waste sent to landfill. This is commonly referred to as the polluter pays principle. Landfill users are also paying for the on-going engineering, treatment and aftercare required to contain and control the environmental effects of landfill disposal such as the collection of leachate and gases, pest and odour control systems.

  • Landfill gate charges: cover the total cost of waste disposal and landfill operations at the Green Island Landfill. Waste delivered to this facility is weighed on arrival and charged accordingly.
    Gate charges contribute a portion of the waste disposal and operational costs of the Waikouaiti Landfill and Middlemarch Transfer Station. Charges are based on the size of the vehicle load. To recover the total costs of providing waste facilities in the satellite communities, a funding contribution is required from general rates.
  • Refuse bags: the cost of purchasing the DCC’s refuse bag covers the cost of providing a kerbside collection service for refuse and also the costs associated with landfill disposal.
  • Community clean-up days: are part funded by user charges based on the size of the vehicle load but also require a significant funding contribution from general rates.

General rates funded

General rates provide subsidised contribution to the community waste disposal facilities and community clean-up day events as outlined above and also fund the following activities.

  • Plan delivery: DCC Solid Waste staff and other resources deployed to deliver the objectives of the Plan to the satisfaction of the community.
  • Litter and public places recycling bins: contracted collection services for all litter and public places recycling bins.
  • Illegal dumping: contracted collection services for the retrieval of household waste illegally deposited on public land. A small portion of the cost of collection is recovered through infringement fines.

Targeted rates funded

  • Kerbside collection services for recycling: residents in the areas that receive the DCC’s kerbside collection service for recycling pay for the service via a targeted rate.

Revenue generated from the sale of diverted materials

  • Recycling rebate: a proportionate amount of funds received from the sale of recyclable material collected at kerbside by DCC contractors and from the resource recovery centres at the DCC’s facilities.
  • Rummage store: revenue raised from the sale of re-usable household items pays for the on-going operation and development of the Green Island Resource Recovery Centre.

Waste levy

Landfill gate charges are levied by the Government under Part 3 of the WMA. A portion of the levy collected is returned to the DCC to promote or achieve waste minimisation in accordance with the Plan. This is equal to 50% of the levy payment collected by the Government divided by Dunedin’s population. The waste levy received by the DCC provides funding for the following activities.

Education for Sustainability programmes:

Enviroschools local facilitation, resources and the Sustainable Living programme are currently waste levy funded. This is over and above the criteria for waste levy spending and requires a review to identify its waste minimisation contribution and other funding sources. Central Government funding, via the Ministry for the Environment, for targeted aspects of the Enviroschools programme has been secured for three years.

Waste minimisation initiatives

  • Educational workshops
  • Diverted material collection events
  • Promotion such as expos and advertising
  • Diverted material infrastructure such as public places recycling
  • Hazardous waste collection, treatment, diversion
  • Other initiatives that reduce waste or increase material diversion.

Waste levy grants

The DCC can make funds available from its share of the waste levy for grants under section 47 of the WMA, to promote or achieve waste minimisation activities in accordance with the Plan.

The DCC intends to allocate a portion of its annual waste levy for this purpose and to provide greater guidance for applicants about eligibility.

Potential future funding methods

Other funding avenues that could fund progress towards the Plan’s objectives are:

  • Waste levy applied to DCC facilities or services
    • In accordance with section 46(2) of the WMA, the DCC may also apply a levy on landfill gate charges. The DCC may do this to subsidise the waste diversion, including hazardous or problematic materials. This could be accompanied by a ban on those materials entering landfill under section 56(a) of the WMA.
      Creating more opportunities for material diversion will make it easier and more affordable to recycle and will encourage the community to seek alternatives to landfill disposal, reducing waste.
  • Licensing of waste collectors and operators
    • The DCC has reviewed its Solid Waste Bylaw 2006 and has prepared an updated draft Solid Waste Bylaw for consultation which is better aligned with current strategies, legislation (specifically the WMA) and the Plan. This includes licencing of waste collectors and operators for which the DCC will require a licencing fee. This fee would need to generate at least enough revenue to cover the costs of administration, monitoring and may be weighted to mitigate risk, providing sufficient funds to protect the environment from harm in case of negligence.

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